DWP mobility policies and office closures

16 Aug 2017

A summary of mobility policies in DWP.

DWP mobility policies

DWP has three policies for mobility which are published on the DWP Intranet under mobility and may also be accessed from the DWP Intranet Home Page ‘Building for our Future’ guidance. The three policies are:

  • Mobility for staff whose employment with DWP started before 15 January 2007
  • Mobility for Staff whose employment with DWP started on or after 15 January 2007
  • Mobility for employees whose employment with DWP started on 14 October 2013 or later, or are covered by the Employee Deal Collective Agreement

The third mobility policy, from 14/10/13, was replaced by the policy, procedures and advice for mobility under collective agreement (Appendix 3) for the employee deal in 2016. This policy gives those employees who accepted the employee deal the option, in an office closure situation, to choose to have their case dealt with under their legacy Mobility Policy (i.e. the policy that applied to them prior to 1 July 2016).  

Employee Deal Mobility Policy – Procedure 4 – Office Closure Options

Collective Agreement (Appendix 3) for the Employee Deal in 2016 states, under Procedure 4:

4. For employees who accepted the terms of ‘Employee Deal: pay Offer 2016 (AA-HEO), transitional arrangements apply to any decision taken before 1 July, 2020 to close an office. In respect of these decisions, employees can choose to have their case dealt with under their legacy Mobility Policy (i.e. the policy that applied to them prior to 1 July 2016).

Employees who opted out of the Employee Deal

The contractual mobility policy for those employees that opted out of the Employee Deal will be the policy in place when they started their employment. For those that started on 14 October, 2013 or later, and opted out of the Employee Deal, the original policy was replaced by the improved and agreed policy negotiated under the Employee Deal.

Limited Mobility Status

Limited Mobility Status only exists in the pre-2007 and pre- 2013 mobility policies:

  • Pre-2007 policy applies to AA-AO, and all part-time staff of any grade, except those that accepted the Employee Deal but under the Deal they can opt to be dealt with under their legacy policy if their site is closing.
  • Pre-2013 policy applies to AA – AO only, except those that accepted the Employee Deal but under the Deal they can opt to be dealt with under their legacy policy if their site is closing.

Mobility is limited to ‘reasonable daily travel’ as defined by either the pre- 2007 or pre-2013 policy. The definition of ‘reasonable daily travel’ is:

  • Pre-2007 policy-  up to 60 minutes from home to office by public transport
  • Pre-2013 policy -  up to 60 minutes from home to office by whichever available and reasonable mode of transport offers the greatest radius of travel

Staff with limited mobility status cannot be required to relocate their home to elsewhere in the UK.

Employees with Mobile Status

Under the Pre-2007 Policy - ‘mobile status’ applies to EO-Grade 6 employees except part-time workers all of whom were accorded limited mobility status. Full–time EO-Grade 6 employees can be expected to travel 90 minutes from home to office by public transport.

Under the Pre-2013 policy – ‘mobile status’ applies to EO- Grade 6 employee including part-time workers in these grades who can be expected to travel 90 minutes from home to office by whichever available and reasonable mode of transport offers the greatest radius of travel

Mobile employees can be compulsorily permanently transferred to any Civil Service post in the UK which may require a move of home at public expense.

Mobility and Employee Deal

Everyone in any grade covered by the Employee Deal (AA – HEO), or opted out but started on 14/10/13 or later, can be permanently posted to any Civil Service post in the UK with contractual terms that specifically emphasise that both the post and location under this policy must be reasonable. In all cases the employees personal circumstances must be taken fully into account in the individual application of the policy to ensure decisions are fair, reasonable, lawful, safe and transparent. Reasonable daily travel is not limited to travel time and may include a range of individual circumstances including caring and other domestic circumstances.

Advice for branches

The mobility policies need to be considered together with the specific guidance published by DWP for office closures under ‘Building for our Future’ and the workforce management policy procedure and advice. Compulsory transfers are considered to be in the interests of the department and are therefore at public expense. For further information on expenses please refer to DWP Expenses Policy. The DWP ‘Building for our Future’ Intranet site, which can be accessed from the DWP Intranet Home Page, provides guidance for preparing for One to Ones for individuals and managers and copies of the Information Packs for individuals and managers.

PCS Briefing DWP/BB/094/17 provides an update for branches on the PCS DWP Group Campaign to defend offices, job and service to the public. PCS absolutely condemns these plans for closures and associated redundancies for our members. The GEC will work with reps and branches to continue building a campaign of opposition to these plans in defence of our members’ jobs, offices and the service we provide to the public. PCS will provide further guidance. Branches in need of further advice related to office closures and mobility policy may contact PCS DWP Group Office.

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